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Towns and areas in Malta

Il-Fgura (Fgura)

Fgura is a town in the south of Malta. It is one of the 68 local councils, with a population of 11,728 as of March 2013.

Much of Fgura was built around the 1960s. However, the town has prehistoric roots - there are several tombs in the area - and there is evidence to suggest it was a settlement in Phoenician times. Fgura, lying inland from the Three Cities, was influenced by the growth of the dockyards, especially after World War II. Its northern fringes are bordered by the Cottonera Lines of fortifications while it merges with the towns of Żabbar to the south and Tarxien to the West. Today, Fgura has one of the highest population densities in the country. It expanded to the outskirts of the Grand Harbour area and was one of the fastest-growing towns of Malta. Fgura has grown to become one of the foremost commercial areas in the central-southern part of the island.

The coat-of-arms of Fgura is made up of a red horizontal stripe containing three golden 5-pointed stars, centred across a white background. Fgura Day was established by the local council in 1994, and its first celebration was held on 30 October. It is now celebrated on the last Sunday of October.

The patron saint of Fgura is Our Lady of Mount Carmel and an annual feast in her honour is celebrated on the second Sunday of July. Fgura also has one of the most peculiar shaped churches in Malta, built in the shape of a tent.

It is thought that a settlement where Fgura currently lies existed in Phoenician times. Between 28 October and 2 December 1948, six Phoenician tombs were found in Fgura, dating to the 3rd or 4th century B.C. These tombs were in irregular shapes and human skeletons, remains of animals, pottery and other Bronze materials and objects were found. In Fgura, a street was named 'Triq is-Sejba Punika' - in English 'Phoenician Discovery Street' - in honour of this historic finding.

Before Fgura was declared a parish on 21 January 1965, it was a suburb of Tarxien. Before World War II, Fgura was a rural village which consisted of a few scattered farm-houses, of which there remains practically nothing, situated near the new church, (picture found above), near the new school and in St. Thomas Street. There were 20 families and the people of this town were farmers and, like many other towns, they were superstitious but they lived and worked together. After the Second World War, the Carmelite Fathers were entrusted with the spiritual needs of the community. The Carmelite Fathers arrived in Fgura on 14 December 1945, where they built a new church and convent, which were inaugurated in November 1950, in the presence of Prime Minister Enrico Mizzi.

As the population grew, the need arose for the building of a new modern church. The new church was inaugurated on 25 May 1988 and was consecrated by Archbishop Joseph Mercieca on 1 February 1990.

A vocal and living tradition speaks of the town's name: scholar E.B. Vella compared "Fgura" with the Maltese word "Figura" - in English "Figure". This relates to the custom of older inhabitants of this town, who would stop in front of a niche dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and they would call the statue "il-figura".
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